Pittenger aides told the North Carolina Republican Party's executive director and a regional political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee that they believed fraud had occurred, people familiar with their discussions told the Post.
In the midst of all of this, the Democrat who narrowly lost the race, former Marine veteran and renewables investor Dan McCready, has announced he is retracting his concession and vowed to fight for answers.
Other N.C. Democrats as well as Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have called for a thorough investigation of the allegations and even a new election that could again pit McCready against Harris and Libertarian Jeff Scott.
If the board concludes that the irregularities tainted those results, it could toss them and call for a new election. Harris defeated Pittenger during the district's Republican primary earlier this year.
Specifically there are allegations in Bladen County that absentee ballots were illegally stacked in favor of Harris. GOP officials have denied the report. Woodhouse told The Post on Thursday that if the state elections board can "show a substantial likelihood" that possible fraud could have changed the outcome of November's vote, "then we fully would support a new election". Mark Harris now has 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the congressional race, but state officials are hesitant to certify the results after Democrats are accusing their opponents of voter fraud.
"What we know is the people down in Bladen County are scoundrels". He also said it's unlikely anyone will be seated to represent North Carolina's 9th District when the new House is sworn in on January 3.
The same day Bitzer published his data, the state Democratic Party submitted four affidavits to the elections board from Bladen County voters who said their absentee ballots had been collected at their homes by people they thought were officials.
This week, the elections board issued subpoenas to the Harris campaign and its general consultant, Red Dome Group, as well as the local sheriff, James A. McVicker, a Republican who won re-election last month and also hired Dowless to run his absentee-ballot program, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
Harris may not be the only Republican to have benefited from Dowless's work, either.
If the District 9 race is not certified by the state board, the leaders of the U.S. House can select either Harris or McCready to fill the seat, Stone said.
A little background on Dowless: Dowless is the vice chair of the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District board. There's a real possibility that they will call for a new election.
Voting restrictions became the central issue in Georgia's close gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with Abrams accusing Kemp of abusing his office to cement his party's hold on power.
To use a highly technical term of art, North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District appears to be a mess.